Do you think you’re ready to purchase a home? In this post, we cover your next steps that will bring you closer to homeownership.
After your offer is accepted on a home, you have several tasks to do before closing day. The time between these two milestones can feel stressful as you wait for the final approval from your lender, but completing as many tasks as you can ahead of time will help ensure all goes smoothly on the big day. Your broker, real estate agent, and lawyer will all be big parts of the lead up to closing day. Here are five of the top things to do in advance.
#1 Complete your last walk through
When you purchase a home, you usually have a certain number of times you can visit the home before closing day. For your last walk through, be sure to schedule it right before closing day. This way, you can see the home in the state it will be in when you close on it, and there’s less likely to be major changes to it than if you don’t view it for two months. Keep an eye out for any damage or changes to the home that weren’t there before. Once you close on the home, any issues will be yours to cover.
If you haven’t had the home officially inspected, now is also a good time to do so. If your offer included the condition of the home passing an inspection, you should have arranged for an inspector to visit the home to ensure it is safe and liveable, with no underlying damage. Your final walk through and inspection should confirm the home is in good shape and ready for you to take over.
#2 Go over your contract again
Contracts aren’t exciting to read over and over, but this is arguably the most important one of your life, so make sure to take the time to check it again. You need to understand everything in that contract about your purchase, from the price of the home to conditions of the purchase and financing requirements. You don’t want any surprises on closing day. If any details seem incorrect or don’t make sense to you, you will want these issues resolved before closing day, when the contract becomes final. Contact your real estate agent if you have any concerns. You want to have all the knowledge you need to confidently close on your new home!
#3 Talk to your lawyer
Before closing day, it’s important to have a final meeting with your lawyer. It’s good to maintain consistent contact with the professionals who will be helping you close your home. Real estate can be confusing for people who are not experts in the industry, so chatting with your real estate lawyer ensures you fully understand what is happening. Contact your lawyer well ahead of time in case they are booked up with appointments, and schedule a time to meet shortly before closing day. During this appointment, you can sign your statement of adjustments and submit your bank draft. Your statement of adjustments is a document detailing the costs you must pay on closing, like the final fees for legal services, any taxes, costs for insurance, etc. Signing this document means you’re agreeing to the final numbers. Doing as much as you can ahead of time will save you time on closing day. Anything that you can complete in advance, you may as well.
#4 Practical details
It’s easy to forget about the smaller details involved with moving. We’re here to remind you about some practical things to do before closing day that will make the experience smoother. You will want to contact your mail carrier to ensure your mail is going to be forwarded to your new address, so the new owners of your old house aren’t receiving thousands of letters not addressed to them, while you’re missing out on important notices. You also want to be sure your new home actually works up to its full capabilities, so make sure you set up utilities like hydro, gas, and internet before closing day. This way, you can actually run water, turn on lights, and heat your home. You will also have to secure home insurance before you close, as per most lenders’ requirements. Booking moving trucks is another big part of moving! Make sure you have the equipment to actually transfer your items from one property to another, whether that means asking friends for help, or hiring a moving company.
#5 Double (and triple) check your finances
Finally, make sure your finances are in order! This involves a few steps. Look at your bank account, and be sure your down payment is sitting there ready for use. Lenders need proof of your down payment working its way to your account so they can be sure it’s not from an illegitimate or illegal source. Check your savings to make sure you have enough money to cover closing costs. You will now be familiar with the final amounts after signing your statement of adjustments. As a general rule, closing costs are often about 1.5 per cent of the home’s purchase price. Lastly, take a look at your credit reports to make sure your credit history looks correct, and your credit score is in the correct range. Mistakes happen on credit reports, so it’s essential to catch any errors and have them fixed so a lender can give their final approval.
Closing day is an exciting time for you, because it means you are just inches away from officially owning your new home. To reduce the stress leading up to this big day, be sure to prepare as best as you can for all possibilities and events. If you thoroughly review your contract, complete your walk through, and keep your finances in order, you should be good to go.
If you have any questions about your mortgage, get in touch with us at Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team! You can call us at (902) 482-2770 or contact us here.